A Cook's Plot

Puddings & Desserts

Cinnamon and Hazelnut Crumble

About five years ago, I planted a ‘Grenadier’ cooking apple tree in the garden and until this year I’ve only ever had a handful of fruit from it. This summer, however, it’s gone mad and has produced so many apples that I’m struggling to keep up with it. So expect quite a few apple recipes over the coming weeks! To kick off with, this is one I came up with when I was going to see my friends Sophie and Colin for lunch - as a thank you present, I took a basket of the apples and a jar of the ready-cooked crumble topping with me. Sophie emailed me a couple of days later and asked for the recipe, so it must have been OK!


Serves 4-8

  • 4 cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 125g butter (straight from the fridge)
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • half tsp mixed spice


Put the apples in a pan with the water and caster sugar and cook gently until soft and just turning mushy. Meanwhile, put the butter, flour and hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until the nuts are roughly chopped. Stir in the demerara sugar and spice then pile into a food bag and freeze for an hour or two. Break up a bit with a fork (but leave some lumps) then spread out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake at 150C (fan oven) for 20 mins until golden.

Pile the warm stewed apples into a big dish, top with the crumble and serve with cream or custard. Alternatively, it looks great in individual shot glasses too, as in my photo - if you're doing this, put a layer of custard on top of the apples before you add the crumble topping.

Serves 4 (or 8 in individual shot glasses).

A Cook's Plot Tip

Both the cooked apples and the crumble mixture can be made ahead of time - the apples will keep in the fridge for up to three days (or in the freezer for months) and you can just leave the crumble mix in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

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